After years of Thatcher-style neoliberalism, the election of Jeremy Corbyn saw Labour return to its socialist roots. The media hated this – as did the celebrities who prefer ‘sensible’ politics that maintain their lifestyles while doing nothing for the rest of us.
In the end, these figures got their wish, and politics returned to the socialism-free status quo. This meant the election of a Tory government that was openly at odds with public services. Predictably, this will now mean the end of public funding for the BBC – much like previous Tory and New Labour governments meant the end of publicly owned infrastructure.
For some celebrities, however, this has proved something of a shock.
Socialism for the ‘lovies’
Broadcaster Dan Walker defended the BBC licence fee, saying it’s “43p per day”.
43p per day pic.twitter.com/MudpcnSyzM
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— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) January 16, 2022
The problem from a socialist perspective is that’s 43p for an institution that props up the Tories/New Labour and the econonomic system we loathe; it’s 43p for an institution that misrepresents and slanders us.
Gary Linekar had this to say:
The BBC is revered, respected and envied around the world. It should be the most treasured of National treasures. Something true patriots of our country should be proud of. It should never be a voice for those in government whoever is in power. https://t.co/4aR5cmDLI1
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) January 16, 2022
The problem here? Namely that anyone without their head up their arse knows the BBC has always acted as the “voice for those in government” – the difference is Lineker doesn’t like the current flavour of neoliberalism.
This is what he had to say in 2017 just before Labour’s socialist policies saw the party increase its vote share by more than any other leader since 1945 – coming within an inch of electoral victory (despite two years of being hammered by outlets like the BBC):
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) April 19, 2017
How did they not see this coming?
This is Armando Iannucci on the end of the BBC as we know it:
First you come for @channel4 because you don’t like its reporting of events. Now you come for the BBC because you don’t like its reporting of events. Have you ever considered whether it’s the events themselves that are the problem? https://t.co/T3P91H1Lzt
— Armando Iannucci (@Aiannucci) January 16, 2022
In 2016, Iannucci bemoaned:
We’ve lost the third way
The ‘third way’ was the name given to the privatisation-fetishising politics of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. It revolved around taking the policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and bundling them with limited social progress. The thing about neoliberalism, however, is its stomach for privatisation is bottomless.
We live in a world in which all companies seek permanent, never-ending growth. How do you achieve that if you’re a private company making inroads into the public sector? With more privatisation, obviously. This means the natural end point for neoliberalism is every sector in private hands – much like the BBC soon will be – and only a fool would have expected otherwise.
Deborah Meaden believes people will miss the BBC when it’s gone – much like how socialists miss that time when there was a hope their future could contain anything besides the dull, grey misery of relentless social-decline:
For those kicking the BBC right now…you will miss it when its gone….. https://t.co/7OJhUxsOCb
— Deborah Meaden 💙 (@DeborahMeaden) January 16, 2022
Meaden couldn’t bring herself to vote for Corbyn in 2019. She was happy to vote for Labour in the past, however (presumably when they were rampant privatisers given that’s been their default since Blair):
Not under Corbyn I’m afraid. I have before. https://t.co/NyFWxNy7Q8
— Deborah Meaden 💙 (@DeborahMeaden) December 8, 2019
Ironically, there’s an answer to this problem that would satisfy both the socialists and the celebs, and that’s to… go back in time and vote Labour. Turns out the party had a solution in 2019 that would have seen the BBC receive more stable funding without a need to apease the government. Imagine how terrible that would have been!
One of the great Corbyn era derangements was the response to his media reform proposals, which saw him genuinely called a threat to press freedom. They are still strong, and could make a good foundational basis for a campaign to defend the BBC on the basis of what it could be. pic.twitter.com/SeinTY0Wzh
— Marcus Barnett (@marcusbarnett_) January 16, 2022
Additional reporting by PA
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